The shopping mall as an emergent public space in Turkey
Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
1073 - 1093
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The shopping mall as a part of the recent transformations in Turkish urban lifestyle is the focus of this research. Characteristics of the Turkish way of using shopping malls, and their social and spatial consequences, are investigated and analyzed through a case study in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The field survey was carried out in Bilkent Shopping Center, a newly built shopping mall in a suburban area which was also established recently as a high-income housing settlement. This shopping mall is an appropriate example of spatial transformations under the influence of global forces, which may also give clues about changes in urban lifestyle. A field survey was carried out through user surveys, and various observations are used to enrich the analysis. The results indicate that the shopping mall as a postmodern site matched the changing shopping and consumption requirements of Turkish urban citizens. The development of the shopping mall turns out to be timely for the Turkish urban citizen searching for modernity through new identity components in consumption patterns. Some benefit from this development more than others, for example, working women, indicating the process of feminization of the flaneur. However, these sites simultaneously produce a new arena of negotiation and conflict as well, creating new forms of exclusion-particularly for the urban poor. Although malls appear more public and democratic than the streets for the time being, the potential for segregation is implicit in their private character.